Cam Levins is out at London, Reid Coolsaet out at Hamburg and it's Barkley time

Some bad news and some good news this week in Canadian running.

Cameron Levins drops out of London marathon

Cam Levins, who set the Canadian marathon record in his debut at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2018, was set to attempt 42.2 for the second time in London. It was announced this week that Cam will no longer be running the race, citing “a bit of patellar tendinitis,” according to Athletics Illustrated.

Considering Cam had foot surgery in 2017 and has spent a long time working his way back to an elite performance level, it’s not surprising he’s being cautious. Here’s hoping he gets better and is back racing soon.

Reid Coolsaet out of Hamburg marathon

The bad news keeps on coming. In a post on his website, Reid Coolsaet revealed he won’t be running Hamburg in April, as previously announced. He’s had a few bumps in the road with his training and has decided that running this race isn’t in his best interest at this time.

“I think that is just a little too late to have a legitimate shot at a good race in Hamburg,” he wrote. He’s still focused on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.

In the post, Reid also looks at the new IAAF Olympic qualifying standards and reflects on his time training in Boulder. It’s worth a read.

Canada does well at world cross-country championships

Canada had a strong showing at the World Cross-Country championships on March 30 in Denmark. The U20 women’s team came sixth, the U20 men’s team came 12th, the senior women’s team came seventh and the senior men’s team came 16th and the mixed relay team came seventh.

The top individual performance was Genevieve Lalonde, who finished 20th overall in the senior women’s race, the top Canadian placing in that race since 2004.

You can see the complete Canadian results at the Athletics Canada website.

CBC Sports has a solid recap of the event.

The race has ignited a new conversation about whether cross-country should return to the Olympics. Inside the Games has a great look at the history of this sport at the Games, and what the future might look like.

I also enjoyed this piece by Deena Kastor in Spikes about how essential cross-country was to her success in future road races.

The Barkley Marathons were this weekend

The Barkley Marathons took place over the weekend, and will continue through Monday. I’m writing this on Sunday night, so the race isn’t quite over yet, but it’s looking unlikely there will be any finishers in 2019. The cut-off to finish this year’s race is 9:23pm Monday night.

Three Canadians attempted the 100+ mile race this year: Jodi Isenor, Morgan Mckay and Stephanie Case. None of the Canadians completed more than one loop of the course.

Canadian Running profiled the two women, Morgan and Stephanie, before the race.

Runner’s World has a good primer for those who don’t know much about the race.

If you want to know more about the race, Outside magazine has a great article from 2013 that’s worth reading.

Plus you should check out the two Barkley documentaries: The Barkley Marathons (available on iTunes and Amazon) and Where Dreams Go to Die (which you can watch, in full and for free, on YouTube).

Two new running books I can’t wait to read

Two new running books came out recently and I have ordered them and can’t wait to read them.

The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness explores how to find, curate and maintain passion for sport. Both authors have been doing the media rounds, but I especially enjoyed Brad’s conversation with Mario Fraioli on The Morning Shakeout.

The second book is 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas. Meb, the great American runner, recounts his 26 professional marathons, one chapter at a time, and shares the big lessons he’s learned from each one.

Outside has an excerpt about Meb’s first Boston, which you can read here.

Runner’s World pulled 10 lessons you can learn from the book if you can’t wait to read it and learn for yourself.

Strides: links I liked

That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading and keep on running.

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